Hyllis Ikea Hack

We really wanted was to make a sort of build-in industrial shelving unit for our living room. A bit Pottery Barn-ish and maybe with a dash of Restoration Hardware.
So my solution was to buy the Hyllis units from Ikea. Super cheap, industrial looking for sure, but not very sturdy.
For this job we used four units. In order to get the shelves just as we wanted, we decided to turn each shelf upside down and flip the actual shelves. That we had them just as we had invisioned them
Turning them upside might seem strange, but that was the best way to get them to fit.
My husband then took each and every unit and cut them to the right length. We were hopeing to cut each one into two parts and use both, but since they are very inexpensive and we wanted it just right – four units was the only way to go.
After reassembling them the next step was to spraypaint them with a primer.
We used a Metal Primer from Montana and then a black coat.
Then after a coat of clear finishing spray we hauled all shelves into the house and tried them to see how they fit the best. The wall is 4m, and the space we had to fit the wooden boards was 27cm.
I treated the wooden boards with wood stain, a mixed together antique oak and teak
When placing the top boards we deceided to have them a bit wider – to get a more polished look.
The end result came so close to what I had already “seen” in my head.
Since part of the shelves are hidden behind the sofa it was perfect to store magazines and such items
For more details check out my blog.
And if you want, my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skreytum-H%C3%BAs/109339452484911
We really love these shelves, and think they add a lot of personality to the space.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Alison Bulick Gilroy
    on Jul 25, 2018

    Wow, nice! That is the quintessential "Portland look"! No idea where you are but that is so Rise City! How did you notch the boards to fit snug with the shelving and stiil look so uniform?

  • Lisa Goings
    on Jun 15, 2020

    I don't understand why you needed to turn the shelves upside down, can you explain? I think other people are wondering the same thing.

  • Uvisquatty
    on Jun 15, 2020

    Same question as Lisa Goings (turn them upside down ????)

Join the conversation

2 of 46 comments
  • Carolina
    on Jun 15, 2020

    Great idea! it looks awesome!!

  • Maria
    on Jul 7, 2020

    I really love this You did a good job If I were thinking of redoing my living room I would choose this style Looks like home!!!!

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